Does your website have videos? Are they something you plan to get around to “someday”? Or do you wonder, why bother if you already have good content in the form of text and still photos? I think you need to get videos on your site sooner than later, and here’s why:
1. Perfection doesn’t matter. It’s more important to get it up than to get it perfect. While it’s true that you could–and, in some cases, might want to–spend thousands of dollars for a professionally produced video, in many ways it’s actually better for your video to have a more casual feel.
Potential customers don’t usually go to a company’s website to watch the same commercials they can see on TV. They are seeking information to supplement what they already know, or they want to get an “inside look” that puts a personal face on the product or service they are considering or have already bought into.
For example, one popular feature on many retail websites is the “warehouse walk,” in which an employee (of any position; just personable) walks through the warehouse and gives customers a sneak peak at the latest product lines or designs that will be shipping out soon. It’s a great way to connect with your audience, and it can prompt a lot of feedback as customers talk amongst themselves in the comments about the new stuff.
2. It’s easier than you think. If your time or budget doesn’t allow for the hiring of a video production company, consider hiring a student or intern, or simply doing it “in house.” Of course your video’s quality won’t look as professional, but this could actually work in your favor because customers often prefer “real” over “slick.”
You could actually get by with a $150 Flip video camera or, in a pinch, a video feature of a regular digital camera. While it’s likely that web-based videos will eventually transition to high definition, at this point it may be overkill and you can avoid investing in HD equipment and memory-hogging pixels and editing functionality.
Similarly, you could drop dollars on top-tier video editing software such Final Cut or Vegas, but those come with a learning curve and you can probably get by with whatever your camera or computer came with, or a cheaper product.
If you’re just aiming to record and share PowerPoint presentations or something you’re doing on a computer screen, you don’t even need a full editing suite. You can buy screen rendering software for Mac or PC, or just use a free web-based tool such as Jing or ScreenToaster.
Video podcasts are another possibility. You could use them as a teaching-tool or product how-to. Who knows? Your video could even “go viral.”
3. Video helps you get more traffic. Most search engine optimization (SEO) experts agree that Google’s algorithm automatically ranks videos higher than other, similar content. It could be that Google considers sites with video to more dynamic in some way, or it might be self-interest because Google owns YouTube.
Additionally, any time you create a video and upload it to YouTube or another reputable service and then embed it on your site, you’ve created an “authority link” or backlink that should also help you in the rankings. Plus, people may find you through YouTube and continue on to your site, which means traffic and potential sales.
Remember, search engines can’t “see” the words that are spoken in videos, so in order to have your keywords and content crawled just like text would be, add text by doing one or more of the following: pasting a transcript into the YouTube text box, enabling YouTube’s automatic captions feature (which has mixed results), or hiring a video transcription service for about $3 per video minute. Also, be sure to fill out all the metadata fields that you can, such as the title, description, tags and category.
If YouTube doesn’t fit your needs, consider other video sharing sites such as: Blip.tv, Revver, Viddler and Vimeo. Do you already have a favorite? Please let me know in the comments and you’ll be entered to win a free Sitehatchery T-shirt!
Posted by: Sitehatchery.com – a Chico web design company providing web design and development services nationwide.